It pays to involve the company’s subject matter experts when putting together workplace training and learning programmes. After all, they are the ones who know their areas the best and they can bring the benefit of their knowledge to help upskill others in the company. What’s more, by drawing on their own experiences, these specialists can help create content that is engaging and compelling for learners. The involvement of subject matter experts also gives training credibility, and this can help with take-up when programmes are rolled out to the wider workforce.
Expertise isn’t shared in a fifth of cases
Unfortunately, such knowledge sharing doesn’t always happen in companies. We carried out a survey of 100 HR directors in the UK and found that a fifth (20 per cent) of organisations don’t effectively share subject matter expertise across the company.
This seems like an opportunity missed. This expertise is valuable; it should be tapped into and shared with employees for the benefit of both their continuing professional development and the company’s growth. Upskilling employees helps them to work more efficiently and effectively; what’s more it can also lead to increased productivity and new business opportunities.
4 reasons for knowledge sharing
Consider these four compelling reasons for involving subject matter experts in course design:
- It makes you more agile – in today’s fast paced world of work where change is constant, large organisations must be agile enough to respond to digital disruption. Subject matter experts have their fingers on the pulse and can provide relevant and up to date examples that ensure that course content is aligned to current market trends
- Their experience is valuable – examples bring subject matter to life and people who have been working in an area, using the skills they are now building in others, can draw on their own experiences to illustrate the training content. They also know what others could benefit from knowing and are well-placed to provide a breakdown of their subject area in a way that is relevant and applicable to the day to day work of the company
- It creates a lasting knowledge transfer within the business – companies run the risk of losing valuable knowledge when experienced employees leave or retire. Capturing their insight through training programmes that will endure ensures the value of their learning gets passed on
- Your internal knowledge is your competitive advantage – it can be all too easy to base learning content purely on off-the-shelf courses. While there is definitely a place for that, organisations that can capture and share their own internal ‘secret sauce’ are more likely to outperform their rivals.
Next- generation learning platforms can help HR and Learning & Development departments tap into the rich vein of knowledge that exists within organisations. They can provide a flexible online environment where courses can be designed and built and content can be accessed by learners. With the right level of support and engagement, subject matter experts can use these tools to get on board with course design and delivery, helping organisations to be agile and get maximum value from harnessing the power of their own experts.
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